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Frisco Del Rosario writes about chess960, women's basketball, minor league baseball, unsupported collectible card games, lettering in comic books, and Golden Age movies

Basic Knightmare Chess Endings #5: The Amazon 01/30/2018


Amazon* is the last of the Knightmare Chess v. 1.0 cards that modify an existing piece to form a new one. Transforming an enemy queen into an amazon at the cost of card value 5 is supposed to be a demotion, but look at how smoothly the amazon (played by Lynda Carter) coordinates with the king to checkmate:

1. Ae7+ Kb8 2. Kb6 Ka8 3. Ac8! Kb8 4. Aa7+ Ka8 5. Ac6#

From the center of the board:

1. Af3+ Kf5 2. Ad4+

The beauty of this piece is that since it combines the power of bishop and knight, it performs exactly like a knight plus a bishop of the same-colored square, which is exactly what you want in the knight-plus-bishop mate!

2. … Kg4 3. Ae6+ Kg3 4. Af5+! Kg2 5. Ke2 Kh2 6. Kf2 Kh1 7. Ag3#

One thing the queen can do that the amazon cannot is push the enemy king to the edge of the board on her own. There’s always a hole in front of (or beside) her, so when she cuts off as much of the king’s mobility as possible — four squares — the king steps into that hole, attacking the amazon.:

The amazon’s piece value is obviously 7. The queen (9) equals rook plus bishop (5 + 3 + 1 for compactness). The amazon (7) equals knight plus bishop (3 + 3 + 1).

Why would you ever play with this card? At the card cost of 5, it casts the same spell over your queen as well as your opponent’s. and it does not change its ability to checkmate with the king.

If Knightmare Chess were a game that anyone was actually playing, that’s what this writing is for — like my writings about NetRunner, which cards are worth a fig, and which aren’t?

*Card text: All queens become amazons for the rest of the game, which move as a knight or a bishop. Continuing effect until all amazons are removed from play.

Relative power of the pieces
Queen: 9 pawns
Royal knight: 7
Amazon: 7
Princess: 6
Paladin: 6
Rook: 5
Bishop: 3
Knight: usually a little less than the bishop
Central pawns: maybe a bit more than 1
Wing pawns: about 1

Categories Knightmare Chess

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